Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee, Programming Ideas

Book Clubs, Reimagined

A staple of children’s libraries, book clubs encourage reading, analysis and thoughtful discussion.  They provide wonderful opportunities to delve into novels of substance and help groups of kids tackle challenging questions about books and life.  At my library, we offer a slate of school-age book clubs, for ages ranging from 3rd to 7th grade, including discussions for children and adults together.  But many reliable library programs benefit from change, and over the past few years, we have seen some shifts in the materials and approaches we use, especially incorporating more nonfiction and comics formats in what had once been a stronghold for the middle grade novel. This year, we’ve decided to increase our focus on other forms of literacy beyond textual comprehension.  After a wonderful Whole Book Approach workshop at the Darien Library’s annual KidLib Unconference, we have reimagined one of our regular afterschool programs to focus on visual literacy….

Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Actual Fun for All Ages

In recent years, libraries have led the way modelling early literacy and learning behaviors for adults to share with the children in their lives.  But the intergenerational fun shouldn’t stop after preschool.  With programs that families can enjoy together, libraries encourage shared learning by school-age children, and their younger sibling, and their older siblings, and their grandparents, and their aunts and uncles, and their friends . . . .

Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee, Collaboration, Outreach, Summer Reading

Summer Learning with your National Parks

We all love our national parks, right? But we may not always think about the U.S. National Park Service as a library partner given the indoor/outdoor aspect of libraries/parks. That was the case for San Francisco Public Library until an intern — who also was working for the Golden Gate National Parks — tipped us off about the National Park Service Centennial. Just goes to show that you never the source of your next inspiration! We’re now half-way through Summer Stride, San Francisco Public Library’s summer learning program, and we’re thrilled about the opportunities that this new partnership has lent to San Francisco families of children of all ages.

Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee, Programming Ideas, Tweens

Knitting Club for Tweens – a step-by-step how-to guide

Hand knitting has been around for arguably thousands of years, though in modern times its popularity has waxed and waned.  Waldorf schools around the world have long recognized that teaching young children handicrafts helps develop their fine motor and analytical skills. The great thing is, libraries can promote knitting, too! Currently, knitting is very popular and many libraries have started their own knitting circles. Here are several reasons to start a knitting circle for tweens at your library and a step-by-step list on how to get started: relaxation: knitting promotes a relaxing feeling similar to the effects of mediation; it hones general literacy skills, math literacy, and other academic skills; the whole process helps build self esteem, something that is extremely important for everyone but especially tweens; it’s fun way to spend time with friends; it may even help teach people to learn to code. Step 1 Start a knitting club for adults. My adult knitting group meets…

Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee, Programming Ideas, Tweens, Uncategorized

Passive Programs for School Age Kids

Passive programs are a great way to engage kids, whether they’re hanging out after school, coming in on a school-free day, or are just looking for something to do! They often require minimal effort to prepare and get off the ground, but are then good for hours of fun and engagement. If you’re looking to add school age passive programs to your library’s offerings, want to freshen things up, or just try something new, take a look at some of these great options! Make copies of a book cover, laminate, cut into puzzle pieces, and set them out (above)! Put “postcards” out on a table and encourage kids to write a postcard to their favorite author or book character, like in The Show Me Librarian’s blog post. Bonus fun if you can find a place to display them in the library! Take a look at this collection of passive program ideas from Jbrary….

Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Taking Advantage of National Resources – The Smithsonian

As children’s librarians we give a lot of attention to reading and various literacy skills, and on many occasions we use fun activities to explore a variety of subjects with children. Through this blog and upcoming ones from me, I want to introduce and/or remind about us about the national based resources that can provide information and program ideas. Although I am spoiled with a wealth of program resources by working in Washington, DC at DC Public Library (DCPL), my colleagues and I should not be the only librarians taking advantage of these opportunities. The Smithsonian site is overloaded with program resources from most of its 19 museums and galleries. Unfortunately this site doesn’t have a consistent method for accessing them. But by clicking on “educators”, “Kids” and/or “student” pages you should be able to find activities to checkout. Below are a few examples of the ideas and resources available…

Audio books, Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee, Books, Children & Technology, Digital World, eReaders/eBooks, Technology

Digital Reading Platforms & School-Age Children

Ways in which digital reading services offer the opportunity to direct the eagerness and energy of kids in a way that is helpful and productive to the development of young people and the skills they need to function.

ALA Midwinter 2016, Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee, Books, Tweens

Youth Media Awards Tween Round-Up

With all the whooping and screaming and unbridled enthusiasm during the Youth Media Awards announcements, the hundreds of librarians in the room at ALA Midwinter might have been mistaken for a group of shrieking tweens.  But no!  Few if any actual tweens graced the room that morning and none of the awards target that slippery upper elementary, middle school-ish group in particular.  Good news for tween readers and the librarians and teachers who serve them: Many of the wonderful titles celebrated earlier this month suit tweens perfectly. Immediately after the announcements, members of the School Age Programs and Service Committee met to go over all the newly-minted winners and honorees, identifying titles for independent reading and/or classroom use.  If you work with tweens, these books might just be the next great reads for your kids.  These include novels, pictures books, comics, and audiobooks, both fiction and nonfiction.  Because some were…